'Before this can reach the best of Husbands and the fondest Lover, those tender Names will be no more of Concern to me. The Indisposition in which you, to obey the Dictates of your Honour and Duty, left me, has increased upon me; and I am acquainted by my Physicians I cannot live a Week longer. At this time my Spirits fail me; and it is the ardent Love I have for you that carries me beyond my Strength, and enables me to tell you, the most painful Thing in the Prospect of Death, is, that I must part with you. But let it be a Comfort to you, that I have no Guilt hangs upon me, no unrepented Folly that retards me; but I pass away my last Hours in Reflection upon the Happiness we have lived in together, and in Sorrow that it is so soon to have an End. This is a Frailty which I hope is so far from criminal, that methinks there is a kind of Piety in being so unwilling to be separated from a State which is the Institution of Heaven, and in which we have lived according to its Laws. As we know no more of the next Life, but that it will be an happy one to the Good, and miserable to the Wicked, why may we not please ourselves at least, to alleviate the Difficulty of resigning this Being, in imagining that we shall have a Sense of what passes below, and may possibly be employed in guiding the Steps of those with whom we walked with Innocence when mortal? Why may not I hope to go on in my usual Work, and, tho' unknown to you, be assistant in all the Conflicts of your Mind? Give me leave to say to you, O best of Men, that I cannot figure to myself a greater Happiness than in such an Employment: To be present at all the Adventures to which human Life is exposed, to administer Slumber to thy Eyelids in the Agonies of a Fever, to cover thy beloved Face in the Day of Battle, to go with thee a Guardian Angel incapable of Wound or Pain, where I have longed to attend thee when a weak, a fearful Woman: These, my Dear, are the Thoughts with which I warm my poor languid Heart; but indeed I am not capable under my present Weakness of bearing the strong Agonies of Mind I fall into, when I form to myself the Grief you will be in upon your first hearing of my Departure. I will not dwell upon this, because your kind and generous Heart will be but the more afflicted, the more the Person for whom you lament offers you Consolation. My last Breath will, if I am my self, expire in a Prayer for you. I shall never see thy Face again.
'Farewell for ever. T.
Footnote 1: Saudades. To have saudades of anything is to yearn with desire towards it. Saudades da Patria is home sickness. To say Tenho Saudades without naming an object would be taken to mean I am all yearning to call a certain gentleman or lady mine.
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Footnote 2: In Act I. sc. 3, of Congreve's Way of the World, Mirabell says of Millamant,
'I like her with all her faults, nay, like her for her faults. Her 'follies are so natural, or so artful, that they become her; and those affectations which in another woman would be odious, serve but to make her more agreeable. I'll tell thee, Fainall, she once used me with that insolence, that in revenge I took her to pieces, sifted her, and separated her failings; I studied 'em and got 'em by rote. The Catalogue was so large, that I was not without hopes one day or other to hate her heartily: to which end I so used myself to think of 'em, that at length, contrary to my design and expectation, they gave me every hour less and less disturbance; 'till in a few days it became habitual to me to remember 'em without being displeased. They are now grown as familiar to me as my own frailties; and, in all probability, in a little time longer I shall like 'em as well.'
Footnote 3: The name was commonly believed to be Rivers, when this Paper was published.
Thursday, October 25, 1711
Decipimur specie recti
When I meet with any vicious Character that is not generally known, in order to prevent its doing Mischief, I draw it at length, and set it up as a Scarecrow; by which means I do not only make an Example of the Person to whom it belongs, but give Warning to all Her Majesty's Subjects, that they may not suffer by it. Thus, to change the Allusion1, I have marked out several of the Shoals and Quicksands of Life, and am continually employed in discovering those which2 are still concealed, in order to keep the Ignorant and Unwary from running upon them. It is with this Intention that I publish the following Letter, which brings to light some Secrets of this Nature.
'There are none of your Speculations which I read over with greater Delight, than those which are designed for the Improvement of our Sex. You have endeavoured to correct our unreasonable Fears and Superstitions, in your Seventh and Twelfth Papers; our Fancy for Equipage, in your Fifteenth; our Love of Puppet-Shows, in your Thirty-First; our Notions of Beauty, in your Thirty-Third; our Inclination for Romances, in your Thirty-Seventh; our Passion for French Fopperies, in your Forty-Fifth; our Manhood and Party-zeal, in your Fifty-Seventh; our Abuse of Dancing, in your Sixty-Sixth and Sixty-Seventh; our Levity, in your Hundred and Twenty-Eighth; our Love of Coxcombs, in your Hundred and Fifty-Fourth, and Hundred and Fifty-Seventh; our Tyranny over the Henpeckt, in your Hundred and Seventy-Sixth. You have described the Pict in your Forty-first; the Idol, in your Seventy-Third; the Demurrer, in your Eighty-Ninth; the Salamander, in your Hundred and Ninety-Eighth. You have likewise taken to pieces our Dress, and represented to us the Extravagancies we are often guilty of in that Particular. You have fallen upon our Patches, in your Fiftieth and Eighty-First; our Commodes, in your Ninety-Eighth; our Fans in your Hundred and Second; our Riding Habits in your Hundred and Fourth; our Hoop-petticoats, in your Hundred and Twenty-Seventh; besides a great many little Blemishes which you have touched upon in your several other Papers, and in those many Letters that are scattered up and down your Works. At the same Time we must own, that the Compliments you pay our Sex are innumerable, and that those very Faults which you represent in us, are neither black in themselves nor, as you own, universal among us.